13 Facts About Lil Bub

Lil Bub visiting the Museum of the Moving Image in 2016
Lil Bub visiting the Museum of the Moving Image in 2016
Gary Gershoff/Getty Images

Lil Bub, the internet's cutest cat, is gone. According to a post by her owner, Mike Bridavsky, Lil Bub died peacefully in her sleep on Sunday, December 1, while battling an aggressive bone infection. Since her birth in June 2011—and particularly after capturing the internet's heart in 2012—she has raised more than $300,000 for animals in need, among other accomplishments.

In 2013, Mental Floss went to Social Tees Animal Rescue for an interview with the feline star and her owner, held in honor of the documentary Lil Bub & Friendz, which was playing at the Tribeca Film Festival that year. Here’s what we learned about the feral cat-turned-internet sensation.

1. Lil Bub's owner said she might have been an alien.

The official story is that Bub was discovered in a rural Indiana tool shed in June 2011, the runt of a litter of feral cats. But Bub didn't look like any of her siblings, Bridavsky told us at the time, "which leads us to believe that she may actually be an alien creature that crashed to Earth, and found this litter of Earth kittens and just joined them to fit in."

2. When she was born, Lil Bub couldn't nurse.

Lil Bub outside Social Tees Animal RescueErin McCarthy

Because of the shape of her mouth, Bub couldn't nurse, so she was bottle-fed until she could eat on her own.

3. When he first saw her, Lil Bub's vet said she was the weirdest cat he had ever seen.

At the time, Bub was 8 weeks old and weighed just 6 ounces, about the size of a Hacky Sack. "He was concerned that with so many birth defects she may not live very long, maybe only a few months," Bridavsky said. "But after doing some tests it turned out she was in good shape!" She and Bridavsky lived a pretty normal life until one of her photos went viral in 2012.

4. A day in Lil Bub's life was pretty regimented.

Lil Bub and owner Mike Bridavsky on her green blanketSamantha Brody for Social Tees Animal Rescue

As of 2013, Lil Bub slept in bed with Bridavsky on her green blanket (which she also traveled with). After waking, they'd take a trip outside so Bub could go to the bathroom. Then Bridavsky mixed Bub's food and medicine, which she ate while he was in the shower. After the shower, he often had to rearrange her food because she liked to smush it. "She’s a lot of work," Bridavsky said, "but I love doing it. It’s great. We have a good relationship."

While Bridavsky prepared the daily Bub blog post, she napped in his lap. Later, they might have shot some photos for the blog or gone outside and hang out.

5. Bub had an extra toe on each foot.

Lil Bub had a total of 22 toes. (Most cats have 18.)

6. After becoming an internet sensation, Bub traveled more than 10,000 miles.

Lil Bub in Bridavsky's armsSamantha Brody for Social Tees Animal Rescue

Lil Bub visited places like New York City, Minneapolis, and Portland. She traveled on the plane with Bridavsky and hung out in her carrier at his feet. "She usually sleeps through the flight," Bridavsky said in 2013. "Airports and everything, she’s totally fine."

7. Bub met many celebrities.

Bub's man celebrity fans included Twilight’s Jackson Rathbone and Robert De Niro, among others. She also appeared on Good Morning America and the Today show.

8. Lil Bub had several medical issues.

Bub had dwarfism, an underdeveloped jaw, and no teeth (that's why her tongue stuck out). She also had osteopetrosis, an exceptionally rare bone disease in cats.

9. Lil Bub loved yogurt.

When Bub wanted to treat herself, she went for one thing: Yogurt. And nothing but Brown Cow yogurt would do.

10. Lil Bub snored. A lot.

For a small cat—she weighed just 3.9 pounds—Bub snored pretty loudly. But it was still adorable.

11. Although she was a cat, Bub preferred dogs.

Here she is meeting Tuna the dog, above.

12. Bub was friends with another internet kitty.

Bub's favorite internet cat/boyfriend was Smoosh, another celebrity feline from Bloomington, Indiana. Smoosh's owner, David, designed much of Bub's merchandise.

13. Most of the proceeds from the sale of Bub's merchandise went to animal shelters in her hometown.

Lil Bub on her green blanketErin McCarthy

The shelters included the Bloomington Animal Shelter, the Monroe County Humane Association, and the Exotic Feline Rescue Center.

Samantha Brody for Social Tees Animal Rescue

Get Into the Halloween Spirit With Harry Potter and Star Wars Costumes and Accessories From Hot Topic

Hot Topic
Hot Topic

Halloween is fast approaching, and that means it's time to start picking up those decorations, planning your costume, and settling down for a few monster movie marathons. Hot Topic is already way ahead of you, with a selection of costumes and accessories based on fan-favorite movies and TV shows like Harry Potter, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Stranger Things, and Hocus Pocus. We've picked out some of our favorites for you to check out below.

Harry Potter

1. Beauxbatons Hat and Cape Uniform; $60

Hot Topic

If Fleur Delacour is your favorite character from the Triwizard Tournament, then this look is for you. Beauxbatons baby blue hat and cape can now be yours to prance around in and pretend you're from the magical French academy for young witches.

Buy it: Beauxbatons Hat, Beauxbatons Cape

2. Hogwarts Zip-Up Hoodie Cloak; $55

Hot Topic

One of the most iconic parts of the Hogwarts uniform is the cloak. The sweeping black robes looked so official and mystical in the movies that it almost seems wrong not to wear one if you want to be a Hogwarts student for Halloween. These hoodie cloaks are available in all four house colors.

Buy it: Hot Topic

3. Hogwarts Cardigan Sweater; $49

Hot Topic

Much like the cloak, the sweater vests and cardigans the students at Hogwarts got to wear are essential to any costume. You can choose from the four house crests and colors, so you can show your allegiance while also making a fashion statement.

Buy it: Hot Topic

4. Hogwarts Plaid Skirtall; $45

Hot Topic

Though this isn't a look you'd recognize from the Harry Potter movies, these plaid skirtalls—skirt overalls, basically—feature the crest and colors of whichever house you represent.

Buy it: Hot Topic

Star Wars

1. The Mandalorian Helmet; $17

Hot Topic

With the second season of The Mandalorian coming out right in time for Halloween, going as one of the show's main characters is a no-brainer. And since you probably can't pull off the Baby Yoda look, this simple Mando helmet is your best option.

Buy it: Hot Topic

2. Yoda Pet Costume; $20

Hot Topic

Baby Yoda is easily the cutest thing to emerge from the new Disney+ series, and there's no shortage of merchandise with that little green face plastered across it. From Amazon Echo Dots to slippers to LEGO sets, the little rascal is everywhere. But if you're more a fan of classic Yoda, you can impose your love of the character on your dog with this costume, complete with floppy green ears and tiny Jedi robe.

Buy it: Hot Topic

3. The Force Awakens Rey Costume; $48

Hot Topic

Rey represents a new generation of Star Wars hero, and her costume during her time on Jakku from The Force Awakens is still her most iconic look. It's also a costume that's simple enough to throw on for Halloween and still feel comfortable in.

Buy it: Hot Topic

4. R2-D2 with Pumpkin Decoration; $50

Hot Topic

When trick-or-treaters stop to collect candy from your house, greet them with this inflatable R2-D2 decoration that's primed for Halloween. Standing around 3 feet tall, this will show off your love for a galaxy far, far away and your holiday spirit.

Buy it: Hot Topic

The Nightmare Before Christmas

1. Sally Scrunchies Set; $10

Hot Topic

If you're looking to embrace your The Nightmare Before Christmas love in a more subtle way, opt for these Sally-approved scrunchies that embody the colors of the movie without going too far overboard.

Buy it: Hot Topic

2. Jack Skellington Button-Up Shirt; $35

Hot Topic

If Jack Skellington is your ultimate fashion hero, then this button-up pinstriped shirt is the ticket for you. It mimics Jack's look right down to the unique bat-shaped collar.

Buy it: Hot Topic

3. Jack and Sally 'Love is Eternal' Eyeshadow Palette; $17

Hot Topic

Makeup inspired by your favorite characters is the key to completing a Halloween look, and this palette will help you make a colorful, smokey eye featuring shades seen in The Nightmare Before Christmas. You can even use these colors long after Halloween is over once you've mastered your favorite style.

Buy it: Hot Topic

4. Zero Dog Costume; $29

Hot Topic

The real star of The Nightmare Before Christmas has to be the dog, Zero, and now you can drape your own pooch in the ghostly visage for under $30.

Buy it: Hop Topic

Other Categories

- Stranger Things
- Coraline
- Disney
- Haunted Mansion
- Hocus Pocus
- The Craft

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Why Do Dogs Like to Bury Things?

Dogs like to dig.
Dogs like to dig.
Nickos/iStock via Getty Images

If you’ve ever found your dog’s favorite toy nestled between pillows or under a pile of loose dirt in the backyard, then you’ve probably come to understand that dogs like to bury things. Like many of their behaviors, digging is an instinct. But where does that impulse come from?

Cesar's Way explains that before dogs were domesticated and enjoyed bags of processed dog food set out in a bowl by their helpful human friends, they were responsible for feeding themselves. If they caught a meal, it was important to keep other dogs from running off with it. To help protect their food supply, it was necessary to bury it. Obscuring it under dirt helped keep other dogs off the scent.

This behavior persists even when a dog knows some kibble is on the menu. It may also manifest itself when a dog has more on its plate than it can enjoy at any one time. The ground is a good place to keep something for later.

But food isn’t the only reason a dog will start digging. If they’ve nabbed something of yours, like a television remote, they may be expressing a desire to play.

Some dog breeds are more prone to digging than others. Terriers, dachshunds, beagles, basset hounds, and miniature schnauzers go burrowing more often than others, though pretty much any dog will exhibit the behavior at times. While there’s nothing inherently harmful about it, you should always be sure a dog in your backyard isn’t being exposed to any lawn care products or other chemicals that could prove harmful. You should also probably keep your remote in a safe place, before the dog decides to relocate it for you.

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